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Entries in Trinidad (6)

Monday
Apr222013

Trinidad's National Security Minister Resigns Amid Corruption Allegations

Tony Quinn/WireImage(PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad) -- Trinidad and Tobago's Minister of National Security, Jack Warner, has resigned amid a cloud of allegations of corrupt dealings, and after being linked to an investigation by federal authorities in the United States.

Warner is a former vice president of soccer's world governing body, FIFA, and he's also the former president of CONCACAF -- the governing body for soccer in North America, Central America and the Caribbean.

His decision to quit office as head of Trinidad and Tobago's national security ministry was announced by that country's Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, on Sunday night.

"I have today accepted the offer of resignation of the Minister of National Security, Mr. Jack Warner from the Cabinet of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago," Persad-Bissessar said.

Attempts by ABC News to get a comment from Warner were unsuccessful, as calls to his cellphone went unanswered.

Warner's resignation comes after months of continuous calls for him to either step down from his post as a minister, or for the prime minister to remove him from office. The most recent call for this came on Saturday from Prakash Ramadhar, who is also part of the government as the Minister of Minister of Legal Affairs.

In 2011, Warner resigned from the posts of FIFA vice president and CONCACAF president, following accusations of him being involved in a cash-for-votes scandal to get people to vote for then-Asian confederation head Mohamed bin Hammam in the FIFA presidential election.

On Friday, a CONCACAF ethics committee released a report accusing Warner and the governing body's former general secretary -- American Chuck Blazer -- of enriching themselves through fraud while they were still part of CONCACAF.

Warner has continuously denied the stack of corruption allegations leveled against him. He has also been linked to an investigation by the FBI and the IRS. In March, the Reuters news agency reported that Warner's son, Daryan Warner, has been serving as a cooperating witness in an investigation by the FBI and IRS into corruption in international soccer.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec142012

Trinidad Baby Recovering After Father Bites Her Face, Leg

ABC News(PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad) -- A baby girl is recovering in a hospital on the Caribbean island of Trinidad after police say her father bit off chunks of flesh from her face and leg when he couldn't find food in the family's home.

Jermour Noel, 24, the child's father, has been charged with wounding with intent against a child.  Noel appeared in court on Wednesday in connection with the charge, but had to be whisked away earlier than usual because other prisoners being held in the court's holding bay threatened to end Noel's life, officials said.

"We couldn't keep him in the cells.  Those prisoners in there would kill him if they only got their hands on him," one Court and Process officer told the Trinidad Express newspaper.

According to police sources, Noel arrived at his Port of Spain home on Sunday and went in search of food.  When he couldn't find anything to eat, Noel reportedly got into a dispute with the child's mother, Tineka Henry, and that's when police say he went into a fit of rage, grabbing the 5-day-old child and allegedly biting into her cheek and leg.

The child was then rushed to a local hospital, where she underwent surgery and remains warded in stable condition as she continues to recover from the attack.

Meanwhile, Noel was not granted bail and was taken to a psychiatric hospital where he will undergo a mental evaluation.  He is due back in court later this month.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Feb212012

'Greatest Show on Earth': The Trinidad and Tobago Carnival Experience

Anselm Gibbs/ABC News(PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad) -- An experience like no other: that's how some describe the annual carnival celebrations in Trinidad and Tobago.

"It's out of this world," said New Yorker Helen Alexander-Roc, who is in Trinidad specifically for carnival.

"It's colorful, the excitement, the people are all friendly," she told ABC News, when asked what drew her to the event.

The 2012 installment of carnival is little different from previous years: costume-clad men and women make their way through the streets dancing, jumping, and waving to the sound of soca music blaring from sound systems set up on tractor trailers.

Trinidad and Tobago's national instrument, the steel-pan, is also a prominent fixture in the celebrations, as dozens of steel-pan bands can be seen and heard throughout the street parade.

Fuschia pink, royal blue and lime green were some of the popular colors of costumes worn by people taking part in this year's parade, with costumes mainly in the form of bikinis for women, and shorts for the guys.  

Those in costumes paraded under intense sunshine and clear skies, with the aroma of Trinidadian dishes like roti and pelau filling the air.

Every year in Trinidad and Tobago, the two days immediately preceding Ash Wednesday -- the day which marks the beginning of Lent for Christians -- are the days when the entire Caribbean nation shuts down for two consecutive days of partying in streets all across the nation. Those two pre-Lenten days are known as Carnival Monday and Tuesday.

Parade participants are part of different masquerade groups, better known as mas bands, with most bands providing their members with costumes, music, food and open-bar service, all for one price, for the two days of carnival.

And what's a party without drinks? In Trinidad and Tobago the legal drinking age is 18, and it's legal to walk through the streets with alcohol in plain sight.

"Oh my God, greatest show, period," said Trinidadian Karen Brathwaite, who was a member of the "Dream Team" masquerade band.

Brathwaite's description of carnival mirrors the nickname given to the festival -- "The Greatest Show on Earth." And in true patriotic form, Brathwaite urged people from around the world to come experience it for themselves.

"You're jumping for two days. Nowhere else in the world you get to jump for two days on the road," said Brathwaite, 23.

The 90-degree heat may have been a bit much for Peter Evenesan, of Norway, but it wasn't enough to keep him away; this year marks the fifth time he has been to carnival.

"I like it very much," Evenesan said, speaking to ABC News on the streets of Port of Spain, the capital of the twin island Caribbean republic.

"Carnival for them out there is something they never will forget, they will enjoy it," Evenesan said, when asked how he would describe the annual carnival celebrations to someone who has never been to Trinidad and Tobago for the festivities.

Trinidad and Tobago's Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said some 200,000 people from all over the world have come to Trinidad and Tobago this year for carnival. The festival brings with it benefits for the local business community; local officials say that all hotels and establishments that provide accommodation are filled to capacity.

Carnival celebrations officially began Monday at 4 a.m. and wrap at midnight on Carnival Tuesday, with what is known as "last lap" -- the last hurrah until carnival comes around again the following year.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Feb202012

Trinidad and Tobago's Carnival Draws Thousands of Tourists

Anselm Gibbs/ABC News(PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad) -- The 90-degree heat may have been a bit much for Peter Evenesan to handle, but it contributed to the right conditions for him to enjoy one of the world's largest street parties -- Trinidad and Tobago's carnival.

Every year in Trinidad and Tobago, the two days immediately preceding Ash Wednesday -- the day which marks the beginning of Lent for Christians -- are the days when the entire Caribbean nation shuts down, for two consecutive days of partying in the streets all across the nation. Those two pre-Lenten days are known as Carnival Monday and Tuesday.

Evenesan, who is a native of Norway, is all too familiar with the carnival happenings on the two tiny islands, as this year marks the fifth time he has been to carnival.

"I like it very much," Evenesan said, while speaking to ABC News on the streets of Port of Spain, which is the capital of the twin island Caribbean republic.

"Carnival for them out there is something they never will forget, they will enjoy it," Evenesan replied, when asked how he would describe the annual carnival celebrations to someone who has never been to Trinidad and Tobago for the festivities.

The 2012 installment of carnival was no different from previous years, as costume-clad men and women made their way through the streets dancing, jumping, and waving to the sound of soca music blaring from sound systems set up on tractor trailers manned by disc jockeys and live bands.

Those in costumes are part of different masquerade groups, better known as mas bands, with most bands providing their members with costumes, music, food and open-bar service, all for one price, for the two days of carnival.

"Oh my God, greatest show, period," said Trinidadian Karen Brathwaite, who was a member of the "Dream Team" masquerade band.

Brathwaite's description of carnival, mirrors the nickname given to the festival -- "The Greatest Show on Earth." And in true patriotic form, Brathwaite urged people from around the world to come experience it themselves.

"You're jumping for two days, nowhere else in the world you get to jump for two days on the road," said Brathwaite, 23.

The word about carnival seems to be out there, as Trinidad and Tobago's Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Biessessar said that this year some 200,000 people from all over the world have come to Trinidad and Tobago for carnival.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jul312011

Caribbean Airlines Flight Crashes in Guyana

John Foxx/Thinkstock(GEORGETOWN, Guyana) -- A Caribbean Airlines jet en route from New York crashed in Guyana Saturday and split in two upon hitting the runway, but none of the 163 people on board were killed.

About 100 people received medical attention for injuries, which included broken legs and scratches. Several passengers are still hospitalized, local officials said.

There appears to have been no fire after the crash, allowing passengers to exit the plane safely. People said they scrambled out through the emergency exit and over the wings.

The plane overshot the 7,400-foot (2,200-meter) runway at Cheddi Jagan International Airport, crashing through a chain-link airport fence and ending up on a dirt road around the airport. The plane broke in two just before reaching a 200-foot ravine.

There were no emergency vehicles immediately available. It was 1:30 a.m. and dark and rainy outside.

"The first thing I think of when I see an accident like this is they landed too fast, too long down the runway or they hydroplaned and certainly when there is water on the runway that is one of the principle things you think about," said ABC News aviation consultant John Nance.

Guyana's airport remained closed Saturday morning as officials conducted investigations. Local officials have asked the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to assist in the investigation. The plane was a U.S.-made Boeing 737-800, so the NTSB and the Federal Aviation Administration are expected to head down to the crash site to assist to try to figure out what went wrong.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Mar082011

Trinidad and Tobago's Carnival, 'The Greatest Show on Earth'

Sean Drakes/LatinContent/Getty Images(PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad) -- Carnival celebrations in Trinidad and Tobago took full flight on Monday and Tuesday, as hundreds of thousands of masqueraders and spectators lined the streets of the twin-island republic for a giant street party.

Dubbed "The Greatest Show on Earth," Trinidad and Tobago's carnival takes place annually on the Monday and Tuesday preceding Ash Wednesday. Those days are known to locals as Carnival Monday and Tuesday, and are days when schools and businesses shut down for citizens to enjoy the massive carnival celebrations. The 2011 installment of the carnival was no different from previous years, as costume-clad men and women made their way through the streets dancing, jumping, and waving to the sound of soca music blaring from sound systems set up on tractor trailers manned by disc jockeys and live bands.

Those in costumes are part of different masquerade groups, better known as mas bands, with most bands providing their members with costumes, music, food, open-bar service for the two days of carnival, and even mobile washroom facilities as the revellers made their way through the streets in the blazing sun. It's one big all-inclusive party, with the streets set as the venue. The mas bands comprise of locals as well as nationals from numerous countries around the world. Trinidad and Tobago's carnival is also an attraction to many celebrities, with actor Idris Elba, along with two of the stars of BET's The Game television series, Wendy Raquel Robinson and Hosea Chanchez, in attendance this year.

Trinidad and Tobago's national instrument, the steel-pan, is also a prominent fixture in the celebrations, as dozens of steel-pan bands could be seen and heard throughout the street parade belting out calyspso and soca tunes for the masses.

The parade isn't just a pointless one, as mas bands passed through several judging points along their routes, competing for the title of "Band of the Year." Musically, there was also competition, as the song that is played most frequently at judging points over the two days is awarded the "Road March" title. The clear frontrunner for this year's Road March title was Advantageous by Marchel Montano, which could be heard over and over at judging points throughout the city of Port of Spain, the nation's Capital.

While similar carnival celebrations are held in other places throughout the world, such as in Brazil and other Caribbean islands, Trinidadians and Tobagonians, in true patriotic fashion, refer to their carnival as being the best in the world.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio